In his native Bolivia, Jaime Escalante was an undisciplined student who went into teaching only because he could not afford to attend engineering school. Several years later, Jaime has become recognized as one of the top American educators for his unique teaching style and motivational approach.
In the early 1960s, with his wife and child, Jaime immigrated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles. He worked as a busboy and cook to support his family while taking classes at night to earn his American degree and teaching credential.
In 1974, Jaime became a basic math teacher at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. Four years later, despite predictions of failure, he began his first Advanced Placement Calculus class for his mainly Latino students, achieving remarkable success. That very success by students who had previously performed poorly led the testing service that administers the College Board's Advanced Placement Calculus test to "suggest" that his students had cheated. The students were ordered to take the test again.
Their vindication in passing the test again was the basis for the hit film, Stand and Deliver which sparked the nation's imagination with its true story of how one person motivated others to achieve.